The fish are caught in unpolluted waters with hardly another angler in sight , they’ll have your arms aching with strain as the species caught here are fit, strong and not in a mood to be landed without at least a good scrap before they surrender their freedom.

My name is Gregg Smeal I am a beach fishing guide on the Eastern Coast of our North Island in a small town called Whakatane pronounced (fock-a –tarn-ee) I will relay a typical days fishing in the sundrenched shores of my home area.

My day started at 3.30am. Oh my God, that’s early, but necessary to chase our most popular species, snapper. These cruise our shores all year round and grow to magnificent proportions in late January only to appear again even bigger in September. We, being my partner Brett and I, set forth to the agreed hotspot, taking a 25 minute journey along a bumpy and seldom travelled track known only to a select few. Using my G.P.S (global positioning system) we located our spot from a marked previous trip and looked out to see a mill pond of stillness with waves just lapping the shore.

We cast out. Tackle was 4/0 hooks on a running rig with a small 15cm trace, using half pilchards as bait. The small nod of a snapper bite caught our attention and, as we made our way toward the rod, it went into a large arcing convulsion as something larger consumed the bait offered, then proceeded to depart for parts unknown at a great rate of knots. We strike the fish here, as this sets the hook into the snappers hard bony jaw. The thump thump of the rod showed that Brett was hooked into a good fish. With line peeling out at a million miles an hour, Brett could just hang on for the ride. Moving the 14ft surf-rod to his left slowed this fish and he was able to regain some much needed line. Several tense minutes passed as angler and fish battled for supremacy. At last a fine 7kg (15.4lb) Snapper was on the shore gasping it’s last breath. This first fish was our best on this day, really testing our 4kg line to the max. As the sun arose across the sky, the fishing died away. After a few pics, we broke up our possie and set off for home.

If you're ever down this end of the world and wish to experience this type of fishing just look out for GuidingLine.com on the web or E-mail me at Guidingline@xtra.co.nz We’ll show you how to fish in a paradise hideaway. The trout here are legendary, as is all the game fishing, and it's all outside my back door but that’ll keep for another article.

Tight Lines

Gregg